A Historical Look at LIFE in ALEPPO

Past Articles:

Thank You, Mitzvah Man

I see that from time to time your magazine posts hesed stories from the Mitzvah Man. Well, I would like to share my following story with your readers.

I’m just recently divorced and for the first time on my own. Since childhood, even when most of the community did not have sukkahs, my dad would build one with a wooden lumber frame and a heavy-duty wallpaper for the walls.  Even though a sukkah is not the women’s mitzvah, I could not fathom not having one. I knew my children would come see me on the holiday and we could have simply said the beracha in our shul’s sukkah – but, it just didn’t feel right to me.

Being on my own and on a tight budget, and learning how to manage it all - it seemed so out of reach to purchase a new sukkah.  I thought of the Mitzvah Man.  I wasn't expecting much since I do work and support myself. I asked the Mitzvah Man if he knew of anyone who would be getting rid of an old sukkah or if he knew where I can buy an inexpensive used one. The response was miraculous and brought tears to my eyes. A brand-new sukkah would be delivered to my home – for free!

I decorated it and I had my grown children for the hag. I had my brother and his family, and I also invited a family who was not so observant and never had a sukkah. The wife said, “This is so beautiful we should have one next year!"

Thank you Mitzvah Man for helping me keep a lifelong tradition and for giving me the opportunity  to inspire and bring a spark to a fellow unaffiliated family.

Sandra M.

Best Investment

Last issue’s topic of investing in your marriage (Best Investment – Your Marriage) was beautifully written and addressed a sensitive yet an extremely important subject. Unfortunately, even in our own community, divorce is on the rise. As the article suggested, anything that is worth keeping is worth working on. Just as streets and bridges must be maintained or they crumble, marriage too needs constant maintenance, work, and attention in order to remain solid and in good working order.

One way to maintain a strong and healthy marriage is by doing small gestures. For example, dosomething unexpected for your spouse on a regular day (one that isn’t a birthday or an anniversary). Buy flowers, make a special dinner you know they’ll enjoy, or just take a walk around the block to spend time together. These little “extra” things can help break through the routine that, while usually good, can sometimes distract us from connecting to our significant other.

Marilyn B.

Sound Advice

Last month, Jido was spot on in his advice to “Afraid of being a loaner.” Whenever anyone asks to borrow money from me and I’m in a position to help out, I never think of it as a loan. I think of it as a gift and I do not expect to get paid back. That way, if I do not get reimbursed, since I considered the loan as a gift in the first place, I do not hold a grudge of any kind. A few times I have been repaid, and it came as a pleasant surprise – as I really did not expect it. The reason I give out loans from time to time is not because of the mitzvah, but because I have needed financial assistance in the past and I sympathize with those in need. I also know first-hand how difficult and embarrassing it is to ask a friend for a loan. Thankfully, I was able to repay all my loans. Btw - another option of obtaining an interest-free loan is via  a money loan gemach.

Carl D.

The Well

On behalf of  “The Well”  I’d like to thank you for the well written feature article in Sukkot issue of Community Magazine (The Well – Challenging the Mind, Nourishing the Soul).

Gayle Sassoon